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Newport Harbor can't keep up with Los Altos
COSTA MESA – A little after 7:15 on Friday night, the Newport Harbor offensive players looked at each other, almost puzzled.
“Is that really the end of that first quarter?” one asked.
“That’s what happens when basically every play is a run,” another responded.
The Sailors’ matchup with Los Altos at Estancia High School was a contest of ground games, of Newport Harbor’s Cole Kinder and the Conquerors’ Tyler Nevens.
It was Nevens and the Conquerors who prevailed, winning 35-23 in a game that featured more than 500 yards and eight scores rushing.
Both runners had a half almost entirely to himself. Kinder set the pace early, taking 24 handoffs in the first half for 201 yards and two touchdowns. His 26-yard touchdown run with a little more than 6 minutes left in the second quarter staked the Sailors (2-2) to a 16-8 lead that would hold until the second half.
Then it was Nevens and the Conquerors’ (5-0) turn. He took one play to announce it as such.
On the first place of scrimmage in the third quarter, Nevens burst to the right side, outrunning the Sailors’ defense for an 80-yard score that set the tone for the remainder of the game.
A bad snap gifted the Conquerors a short field on the 14. Three plays later Nevens scored, extending the lead to 22-16.
Kinder, not to be outdone, answered with an 81-yard score two plays later, reclaiming the lead, 23-22. That would be the last of Newport’s offense.
Nevens struck again from 60 yards, and Los Altos took a 28-23 lead it wouldn’t relinquish. In fact, it would extend the lead to 35-23 with less than a minute on the clock, on another Nevens touchdown, his fifth and final of the night.